Has Your Home
There is a master thief loose in the land, always at work, striking wherever he can. He picks our pockets, robs our homes, steals our most valuable possessions. He even lifts the spiritual seed from the hearts and minds of those to whom it is offered. He plants doubt, fear, error in its place. We know who the thief is and even many of the ways that he works. But too often we show slight concern about it.
This thief is so deceptive and sly, sometimes the theft is so gradual that those who are being robbed are not even aware of it. They go on about life so satisfied, as if everything is fine. They are so fascinated by the human solutions to problems, spellbound over the temporary and worthless offerings of the sinful world, that they lose sight of real treasure.
We hear much about burglary, larceny and homes being entered and property stolen. It is almost an epidemic in many places. But we all need to look about our homes. We may discover that we have been robbed, and have not even been aware of it. Precious things have been taken from us.
Where is the Bible in your home? Certainly you have one somewhere. Nearly all homes have a Bible, don’t they? It may well be covered with dust or other reading material because it is used so infrequently or it may be pushed back on some back shelf. You may as well not have one for all the benefit you get from it. Some people keep one around for emergencies, like sickness, weddings, funerals, or a visit from church people, especially the preacher.
But where is the Biblical influence in your home? Many homes are far more influenced by newspapers, magazines, journals, television, which often are not even fit to be seen and read, but are being consumed by the mind. Many homes have been robbed of the “lamp unto our feet, and the light unto our path way.”
Wherever the Bible is not prominently used in the home, ignorance of the will of God prevails. Confusion and misunderstanding will reign where understanding is needful. Trust in God is displaced by trust in self or some other human being or material something. The Bible has been robbed from many homes today and the result is disaster.
Where is the family worship in your home? “The family that prays together, stays together.” This says more than we may at first recognize. Families that pray together show a common respect for God. They know what matters. Their values are in proper order. Prayer is one manifestation that the family is founded on something sound and eternal. Families like that seldom suffer the ravages of divorce, delinquency, hatred, quarreling, strife, bickering and separations. There is no force on earth more powerful to cement families than mutual love and respect for each other and God. Love for God keeps people loving one another. Families can take tensions and problems from outside and inside the home when they have their feet planted on solid spiritual truth.
Every home needs a two-way communication with God in Bible study and prayer. Most homes have radios, televisions, telephones with extensions, with all kinds of messages coming and going back and forth. Has your home been robbed of communication with God? Does your child know what it is to hear his father pray? Does he pray? Does he study his Bible, if of age to do so? Do you?
Satan has really taken a deadly toll in many homes in disturbing the values of the home. The abundance of material things is often counted better than matters spiritual and eternal. Fun, rather than genuine joy and happiness, is sought. Seeking the praise and acceptance of the people of the world is the goal of many homes more than approval before God. Financial and other physical aspirations exceed the determination to serve God. Secular education is preferred to enlightenment of the soul. Money comes before morals. Pleasure is the name of the game with so many. Little wonder that young people grow up confused and empty. Look at what has been taken from their homes. They hardly had a chance to see or know anything of real value. With the home being little more than a filling station, both parents out making money, children neglected, the right and wrong according to God being ignored, how can anybody expect much more than what we are reaping in society today?
The home that is without firm and kind discipline has been robbed. Adults need to practice self-discipline and the young need to be disciplined. To discipline is to train. “The rod and reproof give correction, but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15). So many children are just allowed to physically grow up. They are not guided nor taught. Given no basic values, they are left to make decisions without the ability and knowledge to know how to make decisions. They do not even know what matters. How can they make intelligent and worthwhile decisions?
Character is formed by discipline. This involves more than chastisement, though this has its place. It is showing the child the way he should go. Words, accompanied by deeds, is the way to train. Some parents say so little to their children, do not even know what their children are thinking, who they are, where they go, what they are doing, with whom they run, and set such a poor example before them as well. Most of the fault for wayward youth lies at the feet of parents of the home. So many have failed because of their own selfishness and greed and their children suffer and the home decays.
A home where there are no rule enforced is a home that breeds contempt for authority. The overbearing tyrannical rule will crush a child and turn him into a rebel. Also, the home that is lax and permissive will produce a leach on society and a shame to the home. What every home needs is the moral and spiritual guidance found from our Lord in the Bible. But many who are the authorities in the home think they are smarter than God and dismiss Him completely. So much of the problems of society and the home are brewed in the home that fails to exhibit proper respect and exercise of authority. Children either learn to respect authority or learn they can rebel against it. How is it with you and yours?
Has your home been robbed of thanking God at mealtime? Has Satan removed that out of the way at your house? You may think this is unimportant, but it teaches a basic truth that God is the source of our blessings and thanksgiving to Him is expected and proper. It is no more than courtesy to thank those who give to you. We teach our young to be rude and uncouth to think that whatever they get is from our own efforts alone. Grace at meals gives glory to God. He deserves all the honor we can bestow. The least we could do is to thank Him at mealtime. But some families are like a pen of hogs, who just snort in eating and stuffing, giving no thought to the source of their blessings. Like the hog filling himself with acorns, he never looks up to see from whence they came.
What consideration is given the Lord’s Day at your house? More and more families consider Sunday just another day off from work to do as they please, go boating, play ball, sleep late, play golf, do anything you want. They never give God a thought even on Lord’s Day. This is being taught in our society as the “in” thing. Even members of the church act like the worship services are an intrusion on “the only day I have.”
Fruit borne proves the point. There was a time when people worshipped God on the first day of the week, spent time in spiritual thought, used the day for families and visiting and worship, attended to the affairs of the church, rested, gave themselves to good self-examination before God, and considered what really matters in life. But today, there is the constant blaring of sports, riotous living, even using the day to get more dollars in overtime. Merchandising is rampant. Even people who call themselves faithful Christians will absent themselves from the assembly of saints in the local church to have their good times. Some defiantly excuse themselves by taking the Lord’s Supper with them as if this satisfies the teaching of the Bible. Such arrogant rebellion against truth is commonplace among brethren and it is wrong as can be!
We may not like the truth, but the truth is that the nation was a better nation when the stores were closed and ball games were played on Saturday. There is such a preponderance of secular and sinful thought among people today that even attending worship is considered odd. What a pity and shame! Has your home been robbed of properly using the Lord’s Day? Does everybody at your house know that the first day of the week is the day of worship before everything else, that it belongs to God, that it is a time for studying His Word, showing love for each other, attending to the soul?
Maybe you heard about the preacher announcing a most important business meeting to take place one Sunday afternoon. It so happened that the matter had to be decided but it was Super Bowl Sunday. The members were so overtaken in the world that this posed a problem for them. The preacher announced the meeting for six o’clock sharp and reminded brethren that it was one of the most important meetings in the history of the church. But then he added, “In case of overtime we will postpone the meeting until next week.” This is the mentality of many today. Their homes have been invaded by the world, even things that are not sinful in themselves have pushed the primary things into second place. As I was growing up, nobody treated Sunday like just some other day. Even denominationalists had more respect than that. Today, however, you hear and see all kinds of activities accompanying neglect for the way of God. Yes, there may be times when “the ox is in the ditch,” but if that persists, you either ought to sell the ox or fill up the ditch. This “sign of our times” is one of disregard toward the Almighty. And at your house, how is it?
If your home has been robbed of its spiritual treasures, do not you think it is about time that they are either recovered, restored and protected? Has not the way of Satan been eroding the firm foundation of spirituality in your home long enough? It is time you “put your foot down” on the devil’s neck, rearrange whatever needs to be rearranged so God gets first priority at your house. We put all kinds of alarms, window latches, lights, signals and warnings around the house to protect our physical properties. This is useful. But do not you think you need to pay more attention to the warnings coming your way about the spiritual robbery that may well be taking place right before you?
We do not have any recommendation for some new-fangled device to warn you of the devil or to keep him out of your home. The only device we know is the one that has worked everywhere it has been seriously and genuinely applied. That is a good and regular serving of the Word of God. It is strange that the very thing that Satan wants to take from us the most is what can keep him from robbing us at all. We need a Christian oriented set of values, family worship, respect for the Lord’s Day, two-way communication with God, example, discipline, respect for authority, thanksgiving at meals, character building in the home. The home will do more along these lines when the church will teach the home to fulfill its mission. Then things will be protected and preserved. The church cannot take the place of the home, nor can the church very often overcome the home and what the home does to its members.
Members of the home, mostly the parents, that have allowed Satan to take away what matters from the home can get these things back there if they will. But who will? That is up to each one. Unless you get and stay busy at the task your home will continue to be pillaged until it is spiritually impoverished. Then you can think about it for eternity, in hell.
1. Who is the robber of the treasures of your home?
2. How can the Bible be robbed from the home?
3. What values are often robbed from the home?
4. Name other desirable qualities that can be taken from the home.
5. How can we recover those things that may have been robbed from us?